~~ Slipping into the Unknown ~~
AU: As of the end 02.22 “Becoming, Part 2.” Buffy was not able to stop Angelus from opening Acathla’s portal and as a result Sunnydale finds itself…elsewhere. Crossover with Dungeons & Dragons, The Forgotten Realms (pre-4th Edition).
Maybe it was just coincidence, but it seemed like everything was getting in her way to the point of a higher power practically kicking stuff in front of her. The cops, the box of crap she had to dodge on the way out, the ambulance parked in the road she had to go around. Then there were more cops, the hospital, more cops, Spike, her mother and all sorts of other trouble. When Buffy finally arrived in the mansion, she was too late. The portal swirled and spun, images warped and twisted like a photo album turned to liquid and constantly flushing down a drain. Standing before it was Angelus, blade in hand and a smirk that threatened to cut his face in half.
“Well lover,” he said, cracking his neck and stretching out his broad shoulders. He gave his blade a quick side to side slash to loosen up the muscles. He glanced back at the swirling portal with a prideful smirk. “What do you think?”
For once, the Slayer was at a loss for a quip. Angelus, being quite in love with himself, was quick to fill the void.
“I really have to thank Giles,” the master vampire commented as he shook his arms out, rapier clasped in one hand. “He really came through for me in the end. Tough old guy, but his dear 'Jenny' helped me out. She had a real distinctive sound when I snapped her neck. Almost makes me wish I could do it over and over again, but hey, you can't have everything.”
“I'm going to stop you,” Buffy said, eyes art as her muscles tensed. She was like a leopard prepared to leap on the unsuspecting prey.
“No,” Angelus taunted with a bemused shake of his head. “You're going to try.”
“Well,” Buffy said. “You know what Yoda says.”
“Come on Giles,” Xander said. “Gawd, old guys are heavy.”
“Yes, I'm terribly sorry that my primordial legs are unable to carry my weight after I've nearly been tortured to death,” Giles replied through gritted teeth as he struggled to put one foot in front of the other while Xander hefted him up. “I'm sure Angelus was thinking of this very situation when he tortured me.”
“I wouldn't be surprised,” Xander growled as they struggled to the hospital. “I've never liked him. Did I ever tell you that?”
“Only a few times in words, but I was able to read between the lines. I'm sure you thought you were being subtle,” Giles replied with as much sarcasm as he could manage in his state. He groaned in pain as he misstepped up onto a curb, tripping and nearly falling forward. Xander quickly put his weight under the older man and kept him upright. “I wonder if I have internal bleeding.”
“Sorry, Giles,” Xander said as he forced the librarian upright. “Not a doc. Come on, only three more blocks.” Blue and red lights started up as a cop car crossed the street to cut them off, the siren piercing in their ears.
The cop pulled his gun on them.
“Stay where you are! Hands in the air!”
Xander rolled his eyes as he held up one arm in a cast and held Giles upright with the other. “And once more the Sunnydale Fuzz is here to make things more difficult.”
“I'm going to try again!” Willow declared. Her head buzzed, but she couldn't be sure if it was from the magic she was about to attempt or the concussion, but she ignored it all the same.
“You sure?” Oz asked in his eloquent fashion.
“Darn tootin'!” Willow declared seriously. After a few moments they'd arranged the ingredients and Willow began to chant. An uncomfortably lingering power filled the girl as her eyes turned pure black and began to infect her, seeping into her very veins, making her already pale face almost inhuman. The curse flew from her lips almost unbidden. The dark power coursed through her, giving her a taste for something that would ultimately redefine her destiny. Moments after the final words of the spell passed her lips, the lights in the hospital flickered, went out and then flickered back on as emergency power set in.
Only then did Xander drag in Giles, tortured and maddened, to the emergency room, no thanks to the SDPD. It had taken nearly ten minutes of quick talking to get them to let Xander take Giles to the hospital instead of both of them to the jail. Xander winced as Giles started to slip from his grasp. The doctors took over, doing their jobs, healing the older man as best they could under the circumstances.
Buffy felt her blade chip as the strength of the Slayer was pitted against the strength of a master vampire. It was doubtful the blade would be usable after the battle as foils were not intended for a battle of strength, but skill and precision. Neither combatant was actually a duelist and only the quick reflexes of the vampire allowed Angelus to keep up with the instinctive weapon skill of the Slayer. Buffy winced as her blade chipped again, a piece flying close to her eye. The flinch allowed Angelus to get in a quick slice, drawing a bit of blood from her arm.
“First blood, lover,” Angelus taunted, stepping back, wave his blade so the dollop of blood flicked of the end to splatter on the white stone walls. He ran his tongue over the tip. “It's delightful. Can't wait for more.”
“You'll have to,” Buffy replied, stepping forward, her blade singing as it cut through the air, just barely nicking the vampire's shoulder. “Forgive me if I'm not that into blood licking.”
“I don't know,” Angelus replied. “Dru was a bit hesitant at first, but she turned into a real connoisseur with a little convincing.”
“Xander and Willow were right,” Buffy commented. “I do need to kick your ass.”
She jumped in, her blade moving faster, more precise as she let the Slayer take over. She allowed her mind to take a back seat as the skills and memories of Slayers past guided her hand, arm and legs. The world seemed to slow down as she sped up. There was a brief moment of satisfaction as she saw another wince cross Angelus' beautiful face. She didn't hesitate and struck again and again, driving him backwards.
The swords crossed once more, her poor quality blade looking increasingly like something you'd find in a junkyard. Angelus' sword was still perfect, not a blemish on the silver finish save for Buffy's own blood.
“You're too late, you know,” he said. “It's already open. It's too…” Angelus stiffened in mid taunt, his entire body tensing up. He made a sound that was more than a gasp, but less than a breath. Buffy's heart caught in her throat as his entire bearing changed in an instant.
“Angel?” she asked, mentally shoving the Slayer back, ignoring all the experiences of her predecessors telling her it was a trick. The vampire opened his fingers, letting the blade clatter to the ground as he fell to his knees. He looked up with horror and pleading at his opponent.
“Buffy?” he asked, sounding so much like a child in a man's body.
“Angel!” Buffy gasped out as she grabbed his head and pulled his lips to hers. They kissed deeply, as lovers. Angel looked up and saw the pain and determination in her eyes. The nod was almost imperceptible, but enough.
Buffy pulled back her arm and drove the blade through Angel's heart, blood sprinkling into the portal behind them. For an instant, the world seemed to roar like a thousand angry lions before echoing outward as a shockwave. Pulling the blade back out, Buffy's breath caught in her throat as the portal spun slower and slower, shrinking until Acathla's mouth snapped shut.
The Slayer looked down and realize she wasn't alone. He was still there. Tears in her eyes, convinced she'd just pulled them both into hell, she held the vampire close, wishing she could hear his heart beat as fast as hers was.
Spike had practically dumped Drusilla into the back of the DeSoto, the recently restored vampire not entirely willing. The bleached vamp jumped in the front, threw down the clutch and turned the key.
“No, Daddy,” Drusilla said, clutching her head. “Bad Daddy! Nonononononononono! Spikey-Spikey, my William.”
“Don't worry, love,” Spike said as he ran over the “Welcome to Sunnydale” sign with the car. It was bloody hard to drive with the windshield all tarred over, but he had no desire to burst into flames. “We'll live.”
“No, Spikey, stop! Miss Edith says we need to stop!”
“We need to get the bloody hell out of here, love, is what we need to do,” Spike countered. He started shifting through the gears going faster and faster, noticing all too late, the gorge that opened up in front of them. The DeSoto went over the edge, tumbling end for end into the shadowy depths of the rocky gorge.
“BLOODY HELL, SLAYER!”
Amy Madison had been in tune with her surroundings ever since she'd returned to her own body. Between worry that her mother could return and awareness of all the other claws that catch and jaws that bite in close proximity to the Hellmouth. This day was no exception.
She'd known something was wrong. Cops don't go knocking on doors looking for Buffy Summers unless something really went wrong. Cops don't police tape the school library unless something really went wrong.
But that didn't matter.
The budding witch sat up sharply in her bed, eyes wide, having gone from fully asleep to fully awake in an instant. She glanced around, not quite understanding the change. It took a moment, but it caught her attention, like hearing a familiar baseline to a song played through earphones on the other side of the room.
Magic was singing.
“I guess Sunnydale's not in Kansas anymore,” she said before she started to hum along.
Mayor Richard Wilkins, I, II, and III woke up as usual at dawn. Or what was supposed to be dawn. His precisely timed internal clock, having been honed after over a century of fastidious living, woke him up at the incorrect time, at least judging by the light streaming through his window.
Pouring himself a cup of morning tea, he pushed the curtains aside and paused. The trees swayed in the breeze, the leaves of the grapevines in the vineyard flicked and flashed their dewy leaves in the light wind. And beyond them, great mountains rose up like clawed fingers reaching to the sky. Those sharp peaks in the distance were decidedly not
there when he went to bed. Taking a sip of tea, he pondered the situation.
“Gosh darn it,” he said before taking another sip of tea. “Can't get a moment's rest."
In the more centrally located UC Sunnydale campus, Riley Finn looked up to the sky and carefully took note of what he saw. His other agents did the same, trying to grasp every change they could find. Their team had just been about to report back to the Initiative base when the sun, having been just barely morning twilight turned into noon but only if the rotation had changed. Forest Gates lowered his taser rifle as they pondered their surroundings in the bright sunlight, their military garb visible for anyone to see.
“Dr. Walsh?” Agent Finn said into his radio.
“Agent Finn, what can I do for you?”
“My team was out on patrol and just before sunrise something changed.” There was just a slightly quaver in his voice.
“What changed? Is there some kind of problem?”
“Dr. Walsh, I think you and the Major should come above ground and see this. You wouldn't believe me if I just tell you.”
“What is it?” She could tell by the catch in his voice that something had gone horribly wrong.
“The sun is in the wrong place.”
Buffy and company is owned by Joss W. and Mutant Enemy.
The Forgotten Realms and such are created and owned by Ed Greenwood and Wizards of the Coast and the various authors of the fiction.
Ranma 1/2 is owned by Rumiko Takahashi.
Thanks go to Janessa Ravenwood for editing this massive literary beast and the re-editing of my reworkings in the earlier chapters.